IBM to increase its business in India

By agencies   |   Tuesday, 24 October 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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Bangalore: IBM, the world's largest computer services company, aims to increase its share of business in India as banks, retail and small and medium-sized firms spend more on technology in India.

The company's business in India grew 45 percent last quarter, the fastest for that period of IBM's emerging market business, as telecoms, banks and services ramped up spending on computer hardware and services to spur expansion in the growing economy.

"India is the fastest-growing market we have got in IBM today," Michael Cannon-Brookes, vice president for business development in China and India, said in an interview at the company's sprawling campus in India's tech hub.

"We look at it as a high-growth, hyper-growth market. The industry here is going through dramatic transformation. As a result of this, there are just a lot of changes where you really want an innovative approach."

IBM has bagged big deals in telecoms, like one from India's top mobile services firm Bharti Airtel Ltd in August, and Cannon-Brookes said he saw growth across all areas, including retail and healthcare.

"We have a large percentage in small and medium-sized businesses. We are spreading out much more by having offices in other cities, working through business partners and getting down to tier two and tier three cities," he said.

India's export-focused software services companies and multinational firms like IBM are increasingly eyeing outsourcing deals in the local market as banks and government departments step up spending to cut costs and improve their efficiency.

Domestic spending on software and back-office services is expected to rise US $7-7.3 billion in the year ending in March 2007, from USD6 billion in the previous year, according to the National Association of Software and Service Companies.

Analysts say more computerisation and networking of banks, insurance and government departments will accelerate domestic spending on information technology in India, which has made a name for itself as a centre for outsourced financial services.

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